Newsday Tuesday—Cats Gone Missing

Smokey, AKA the Klepto Cat

Smokey, AKA the Klepto Cat

I think we are all fascinated by stories of cats (and dogs) who go missing and find their way back home. A fan of The Incredible Journey, where two dogs and a cat make their way home after…well, an incredible journey, I want to share a few such stories.

There’s the story of Clive, a Norwegian forest cat who was missing for over a year and eventually discovered living it up in a pet food factory. Evidently, the nine-month-old cat found his way to the pet food factory a mile away from his home and lived there undetected for fourteen months. Workers, however, were suspicious. Some reported seeing a flash of fur rushing past now and then. Others noticed treats missing. So they devised a humane trap and finally caught the culprit, found his owner, and Clive was returned to his family in good health. In fact, they said he had pretty much doubled in size.

Holly, a four-year-old tortie got lost while on vacation with her family. She was frightened



by fireworks and ran out the door of their vacation home. The family spent days searching for Holly—handing out flyers and talking to folks in the area. When they left for home, they thought they’d never see Holly again. However, sixty days later, a very thin, very weak cat showed up on the porch of a good Samaritan only a mile from where her family lived. This woman took Holly to the vet and discovered she had a chip, so they were able to reunite her with her family. Experts say that cats have a great sense of direction, but how a cat could find her way home from nearly 200 miles away is a puzzle.

There’s also the story of Skittles, who ran away while on vacation and showed up 140 days and 350 miles later. Amazing.

I experienced something strange with a missing cat once. Tina, a gorgeous shaded silver Persian-type cat wandered into my house one day, obviously in need of a home. Shortly after we took her in, we discovered that she was expecting kittens. And after her two kittens were born, and we’d found homes for them, we had Tina spayed. When we moved a few blocks away, of course, Tina came with us. But she didn’t want to stay. She wandered off and disappeared. I could only hope she had found a new family who loved her.

Two years later, a cat who looked exactly like Tina showed up on our front porch. When I opened the door, she walked in and made herself comfortable. The more time I spent with her, the more I was convinced this was Tina—she had returned to us. After she ate and rested, she asked to be let out, only to return with—of all things—a newborn kitten. But we had Tina spayed—where did this kitten come from? Was this Tina’s identical twin, did she take the kitten from another mother cat, or did the vet charge us for a procedure he did not actually do?

There are some questions—especially when it comes to cats—that may never be answered.

Tina’s story is only one of several true cat stories in my book Catscapades. or at

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